My husband grew up on boxed Mac & Cheese. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. He lived alone with his mom from age 6, and she was a school teacher. Like many of us, when we worked and had young children, we did what we could to just get dinner on the table. As a teen, it was one of the only things he knew how to make by himself. When we married, he introduced me to boxed Mac. Mac and cheese just wasn’t a dish my mama made when I was growing up, so I was 20 before I discovered this yummy cheesy goodness through him.
Every restaurant we went to, he would order the Mac and tell me whether it was good or not – especially when it was better than boxed. So, I set out as a young wife searching for the best Mac and cheese recipe that would please my sweet husband. Y’all, I would like to say I found the very best recipe that used real cheese, but I kept coming back to this one using velvetta. There is just no comparison to its creaminess in our opinion (and my nephew, Colt, whom I tested recipes on). This recipe is in my memory, but I pulled out the old printed copy that has to be over 20 years old. It was time to put this recipe on social media and make it available to Mac and cheese lovers all over! My son would inhale this so quickly that I doubled the recipe when he lived at home and was a hungry teenager. I miss those days of no leftovers. *sigh*
Enough reminiscing, let’s get to the recipe!
What you’ll need
- 8 ounces of macaroni or shells
- 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 6 ounces of velvetta (you can use cheddar but it’s just not the same)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar (optional)
Step by step
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Start cooking your macaroni according to package directions. Make sure you salt the water when it starts boiling and I always put some olive oil in the water when cooking dried pasta. I think it keeps it from sticking.
While the pasta is boiling, melt your stick of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Once butter is melted, add in the flour and whisk constantly until it’s combined with the butter. This happens pretty quickly so get ready once that’s combined, add the milk SLOWLY whisking with the other hand.
Whisk as you pour in the milk and it will thicken up and start bubbling. That’s when you add your cheese, then salt and pepper.
Stirring frequently, melt your cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Then add in your drained pasta, mix, then add to a small casserole dish.
Alright! It looks soupy. That’s ok! Just wait until it come out of the oven! Put into the casserole dish and pop in your oven for 20-25 mins.
When it’s done, you’ll have some brown around the edges. At this point, you can be done (let it cool before serving) or you can add some cheddar to crust the top. Also, here if you like crunchies on top, you can melt some butter and mix with a cup of pinko crumbs and sprinkle on top. Either way, put it back in with your preferred topping for 5 minutes. Then, it’s done!
I hope your family likes this classic dish as much as mine do!